Date of Award


Degree Name


Schools and Centres

Arts & Sciences

First Supervisor

Professor Simon Adams


The Westralian Worker occupies a privileged place in Western Australia's labour history, as the working class movement's official organ. This study seeks to understand how the paper dealt with its conflicting roles as reflector and projector of labour movement opinion - the observer-agent dichotomy. It does so by analysing the Worker's response to some of the major issues facing labour during World War I. The peace movement, anti-German attitudes, the persecution of the IWW, and the conscription debates are considered. It will be argued that the Worker attempted to accommodate a wide range of views, but as organised labour's divisions grew deeper, this position became untenable; ultimately the Westralian Worker was captured by the anti-conscriptionists.

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